I often come across new pet owners who express their concerns about their puppies exhibiting behaviors such as biting, chewing, and nibbling on various objects like furniture and shoes.
This behavior is indeed concerning. I understand the worry you might be experiencing – your once adorable puppy seems to have transformed into a voracious biter, and the fear of them ingesting something harmful is quite valid.
Just like human infants, puppies also go through two phases of tooth development. The initial phase involves their primary or deciduous teeth, commonly referred to as milk teeth. Dogs typically have 28 deciduous teeth or milk teeth, which eventually transition to 48 permanent teeth.
The teething process starts around 3 to 4 weeks of age, with puppies acquiring all their deciduous teeth by around 6 weeks. These milk teeth begin to fall out when the puppy reaches 3 months, and by 6 months of age, their permanent teeth emerge.
To ease concerns regarding inappropriate chewing and potential ingestion hazards, let's delve into suitable chew toy options for dogs.
The notion of a completely safe chew toy is somewhat misleading. It's imperative to closely supervise both dogs and puppies when they interact with their chew toys, as accidents can occur unexpectedly.
Instances abound of dogs that have managed to ingest seemingly secure toys, as well as those that exhibit careful chewing behaviors, ensuring no unintended ingestion occurs – not even a grain of sand!
During the initial stages, it's challenging to predict a dog's behavior accurately. Therefore, diligent monitoring is crucial. Regarding puppies, refrain from allowing them to chew on exceptionally hard items like bones and sticks. Opt for toys that are slightly larger and possess flexibility.
Now, let's explore methods to curb chewing behaviors.
Recognize that dogs explore the world predominantly through their mouths; hence, complete prevention isn't advisable. Instead, provide them with appropriate toys and diversions. However, it's paramount to thwart them from chewing on harmful items, such as furniture.
Refrain from reinforcing any undesirable chewing behaviors. When your puppy chews on forbidden items, firmly vocalize "NO" and redirect their attention to an appropriate toy.
To mitigate access, avoid placing easily reachable objects like clothes or shoes within their grasp. Given their abundant energy, engaging in regular exercise and play sessions can aid in managing their energy levels and potentially reduce excessive chewing.
I trust this article provides valuable insights. Should you have inquiries concerning puppy chewing behaviors or require further assistance, feel free to contact me.
Picture: Eastgate Vet